Networked News

About 3am this morning, the dog was up.  I think he wanted to go outside to see if he could see the Aurora Borealis.  As I returned to go back to bed, I checked my iPad.  There was a message there from my friend Allison about the overnight event in Clinton.  I couldn’t ignore it and so started to read.

I flipped on the television and scrolled through the 24 hour news channels, looking for details.


And yet, online, there were reports from the local media – CKNX, CFPL, Blackburn News, and some I’d never heard of.  The story was still early but what details were available were being reported.  In our Clinton group on Facebook, people were aggregating news reports as they happened.  As it turns out, Twitter is serving as an excellent aggregator of the news, once you filter out the references to other “Clintons”.

This morning, the local stations had provided more details.  I did turn to our national news stations and there were no reports at all.  It’s like it didn’t happen.  The closest that I could find news was on Canoe.  As a former resident, I was so anxious for details.

As I sit here fidgeting for details, I think of traditional news media.  I remember Walter Cronkite as “the most trusted man in America“.  I recall watching the daily news read from the likes of Knowlton Nash, Peter Mansbridge, Lloyd Robertson in the evening.  These news shows had a definite starting and ending times with the contented carefully edited to fit in between.  They really weren’t about reporting news as it happened; they were entrusted to provide us with a summary of the day’s news.

News coverage has certainly changed.  Yes, we still have the nightly news summaries but most news sources now have their own 24 hour news channels.  For me, in this case, for the most part, the traditional media dropped the ball.  As I sat there anxiously flipping through channels looking for news, I saw repeats of previous newscasts as well as stories that could best be described as infotainment.  The best news reports were online.

Is this a message for the big, traditional news organizations?  What happens when you’re bested by smaller, more nimble news sources?

This certainly has not been a good week for humanity.  What news that was on was focused on much that was in the headlines. This is now old news.

There is a learning theory about connectivism that I’ve totally bought in to from my experiences and needs.  From Wikipedia (1)– “As Downes states: “at its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks”.

I think this describes perfectly what I was experiencing.  When I worked with Allison, we had a wonderful network of co-learners and we shared so much.  She continues in that vein.  Her efforts led me to a network of connections that I would never have known otherwise.  They were providing the best of the learning that was available at the time.  For that, I’m so grateful.  As I write this, I’m still so concerned about what is happening and am continually monitoring resources.

(1) Reference:  “Connectivism.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 Dec. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.

Later on – it’s now later than the original post – the story seems to be covered by all the major Canadian news sources.  Details are still sketchy.

OTR Links 09/15/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.